Damian Williams gets settled in at USC

A little over four months ago, the Trojans took on Arkansas in Fayetteville in the second game of a home and home series with the Razorbacks. For Damian Williams, one of the elite wide receiver prospects in the 2006 recruiting class, it was the beginning of his college career.

Williams would finish the game with four receptions for 61 yards. Not a bad start for the freshman. However, that would be his highest production for the season as Arkansas all but abandoned the passing game in favor of tailoring the offense around it's marquee player, Darren McFadden. For the 2006 season, Williams caught 19 passes for 235 yards.

On Dec. 13, 2006, Williams' father, David, called Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, to inform him that Williams had decided to transfer to another school. That school ended up being USC, and the Trojans added a first-team freshman All-SEC (freshman), and third-team freshman All-American wide receiver to its roster.

Williams described how USC became the school he transferred to.

"Somehow, they (USC) had heard about the transfer," Williams said. "After I got my release (from Arkansas), I guess they had called around enquiring about me and found out I had gotten my release. I talked to Coach Brennan Carroll and he had a lot of good things to say about the school and (football) program. He basically presented to the program to me, and we kind of started from there."

After the communication began with USC, most would assume Williams and his family traveled to Los Angeles before deciding he wanted to be a Trojan. Not only did he not visit USC, he was also unable to speak to the coaches in person before he made his decision.

"It was a dead period when I actually did my transferring," Williams said. "So, I didn't make a trip out here (Los Angeles), nor did they (USC) come to see me." The Trojans must have done some serious selling of the program for Williams to decide on USC, without familiarizing himself with USC and southern California.

Although he chose USC, it wasn't the only school to contact Williams after word got out he was released from his Arkansas scholarship.

"There were a couple other schools that contacted me," Williams said. "LSU, North Carolina, Missouri and several other schools called."

With Williams enrolling at USC on Jan. 9, he's set his sights on spring ball and the opportunity to show off his skills to his coaches, teammates and fans. He may still be a freshman, but he's focused like a veteran.

"Basically, I just want to get better," Williams said about his goals for spring ball. "I'll be working on my game this next year. I do have to sit out next year, so I'm just going to make the most of it and perfect my skills."

There are some people under the impression Willaims transferred because the number of receptions he had were too low at Arkansas, but that's not the case. It's not about the numbers, it's about developing as a wide receiver. Also, he appreciates the educational value USC offers. Williams isn't taking it easy academically in the spring, either. "On Wednesdays, I have classes from noon until 9 p.m.," Williams said.

Even though it will be difficult to sit out and watch from the sidelines in 2007, it could be just as difficult to crack the starting lineup in 2008 with Ausberry, Turner, Hazelton, Patterson, Holland and Carswell returning. Here's what Williams had to say about his potential playing time in 2008.

"I'm just going to go out there and do my best," Williams said. "If that puts me in a starting spot, I'd love to have it. If not, I'll keep working hard to get a starting spot. If I have to come in from sidelines to play, then I'm just going to contribute any way I can." Whether Williams starts or not in 2008, it's hard to imagine him not making a significant impact. He's far too talented.


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